Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 9, 2012 8:45 AM by Andre Daneau
Robby W Level 1 Level 1
I hope I'm not beating a dead horse, so here goes. I have read many postings on this site and other Mac support sites regarding the failure of iCal alarms to "go off". I had grown to be quite reliant on it for paying bills, b'days, Dr. appts, etc. In my case I'm not doing any syncing, just using it on my Mac mini. I have tried every fix I have come across, too many to list, with no permanent solution. I'm using iCal version 4.0.3.

I had been using iCal on my iMac PPC G5 with ultimately Tiger 10.4.11 since 2005. I never had a problem until I upgraded to an Intel Mac mini with Snow Leopard 10.6.4. It seems that most issues I had read about, but not all, were after users had upgraded from Tiger to Leopard/Snow Leopard. What makes it so maddening is that I haven't been able to find any pattern. Some alarms go off and others don't. I hate to think about buying software to replace it, but I can't trust it anymore.

Any help would be appreciated,


Mac mini /2.53 GHz/4 GB/10.6.4, Mac OS X (10.6.4),  iMac PPC G5 10.4.11
  • graemebar Level 1 Level 1
    Hi there,
    I'm having the same problems too, No alarms
    Please fix this Apple
  • The BB Level 1 Level 1
    Me too, and I've now missed multiple bills that were due. I'm officially sick of this problem!

    I've even gone to the genius bar two times, and they can't figure it out... The guys sure did try hard though - each visit was over an hour long.

    I'm having the problem where some alarms go off, and some don't. I keep thinking that I've narrowed it down to a category (i.e work alarms vs. personal alarms) but ultimately, I can make it fail no matter what I choose. Seems to be a very random problem.

    As Robby said, I use to be on an older computer (mine was a black macbook running tiger). Then I did the upgrade to a new Macbook Pro and am on Snow Leopard. Maybe because we skipped the Leopard OS we're having this issue? Either way, it must get resolved soon. There are hundreds of people complaining about this issue on multiple discussion groups out there. We are not alone!

    My finger is almost on the "add to cart" button for the newest MS Office, so I can revert to Entourage (after many years off the junk) and at least run my business properly again. PLEASE Apple - get this problem fixed.

  • xaxat Level 1 Level 1
    Here it is Nov 30, your original question is still #1 for google search "ical alarms fail" and still no answer. I've gone back to a printed date book. None of my alarms work. Was it upgrading to 10.6.4 or 10.6.3? No answers out there. or here, good luck.
  • Robert Clare1 Level 1 Level 1
    Also for me I'm having this problem. The interesting thing is that it is only on my iMac (10.6.6). My MBP (also 10.6.6) is fine, as is my iPad. All of these machines use syncing with Google. On my iMac, I deleted my google caldav account, deleted all the ical cache files, deleted all the ical plist files and deleted all the calendar files themselves. I rebooted and even reinstalled the 10.6.6 combo. After all that, I restarted iCal. I got two calendars (by default?), Home and Work. I don't know anymore if that is what one gets with a brand new instance of iCal. At any rate, after adding the Google caldav back in, I still get no reminders. What else could be out there that is not enabling alarms? This is driving me crazy, and making me start to look for alternatives. Fortunately, the one thing that does work is the calendar on my Blackberry, so I rely on it instead of iCal on my iMac. Hey, Apple! What's going on?
  • colinmono Level 1 Level 1
    I'm also having an issue with iCal alarms not going off. Using 10.6.6.

    The problem seems random - sometimes they go off, sometimes they don't. Driving me nuts.

    Message was edited by: colinmono
  • jtc65 Level 1 Level 1
    I am having the same problem with 10.6.6 on my iMac. If I create a calendar appointment with a reminder, there is probably a 50-50 chance that it will actually work. I switched from using MS Windows/Office about a year ago, and this has been my biggest (and maybe only?) disappointment. I had come to rely on reminders as they always worked perfectly in Outlook. I missed a doctor's appointment and a few other things before I realized that I can't rely on them any more. Very disappointing. How hard can it be to get this right?

    Things got even more interesting when I signed up for MobileMe. Now my appointments are also on my iPod Touch (when syncing is working properly), and reminders seem to work fine there.
  • Martin-Bisousnours Level 1 Level 1
    I do have the opposite problem on 10.6.6. since ~3 weeks, alarms keep coming back even if I acknowledge them. Means ical is still reminding me of appointments from 3 weeks ago even though I cancel the alarm each and every day. I do have to open the event in iCal and manually remove the alarm setting. Driving me crazy. At the same time no alarm at all on the events synched with MobileMe.

    Don't know what is going on here, ut if any one has a clue...
  • iHatePC Level 2 Level 2
    What the **** Apple? People have been complaining about this issue for years and there is still no solution? Let me guess, Repair Permissions?
  • Jonathan Payne1 Level 1 Level 1
    Very frustrating. I have been missing important things as well,. assuming that even though the reminder works fine on my iPhone, that I will find the same reminder on my computer when I get back home. But appointments made in google calendars which are synced with my iPhone and my Mac (and my Wife's iphone and mac) do not popup on my Mac, only my iPhone.

    How hard can this be? I think the hard part is getting Apple to realize there is a problem. I have a similar issue with IMAP email when using dreamhost. In this case the iPhone fails to sync the read/unread flags of messages, rendering the main feature of IMAP useless. Been 5 months wondering when they will fix it.

    My admitted apple-fanboydom is fading fast.
  • web1 Level 1 Level 1

    Sigh. If misery loves company, I should be happy. But I'm not. Apple, ***?

  • celtdkey Level 1 Level 1

    I've had the same problem with iCal alarms not showing up in Snow Leopard. Yesterday I finally found the source of my problem, and the solution.


    It turns out that alarms were not showing for alarms in my Google calendar. This explains why some alarms wouldn't show (Google calendar items) while others would. It has to do with the way iCal sets up Google calendar accounts in Snow Leopard, which differs from the way it was done in Leopard. This also explains why alarms work fine on one of my iMacs, but not on the other. On the iMac that does show alarms, the Google account was set up on a previous version of the Mac OS's iCal (I don't remember which one) and was then ultimately upgraded to Snow Leopard. On the other Mac, the Google calendar account was setup in Snow Leopard.


    The solution to my problem was simple. I deleted the Google account from iCal and set it up again, this time using the old way to do this, not using iCal's procedure for setting up Google Accounts.


    To do this, open the Preferences in iCal, go to the Accounts tab and click the + to add an account. Select CalDAV as account type and enter the user name and password of your Google calendar account. The server address you need to enter, depends on whether you're going to sync your primary Google calendar or a secondary one.


    To sync your primary calendar, enter the following url:



    ...replacing with your actual email address.


    If you want to add a secondary calendar, instead of inserting your email address in the Account URL as described in step 4, you need to grab the calendar ID for that specific calendar. You can find it by opening Google Calendar, clicking the arrow next to the calendar you want to sync, and selecting Calendar settings. In the settings, find the Calendar Address section near the bottom of the window, then just copy and paste the Calendar ID (which is formatted like an email address) in place of in the URL above.

  • craigan Level 1 Level 1


    same problem here on 10.6.7 and iCal 4.0.4 - some alarms work and some don't (they used to all be working, no problem.)

  • Lance000 Level 1 Level 1

    I'm having the same problem using 10.6.8  and ical 4.0.4 - I called apple but since I'm passed the 3 year support agreement they won't help me out. I'm assuming that's because they probably know it's an issue and don't know how to fix it. I've lookd all over for a solution and haven't found one yet. Seems this problem has been around for a few years at least.

    Quite unbelievable !!

    Perhaps it's time to go back to entourage at least the alarm notifications work there.

  • kevinlb Level 1 Level 1

    My iCal's worked fine for years (including through OS migrations) but the alarms mysteriously stopped a few weeks ago.


    Tried a different account/user on my machine: worked fine, confirming that it was just my configuration. Suggest plist and preferences problems.


    Found a post by MadisonP (California):


    MadisonP California Level 4 (3,445 points) Re: iCal alarms not working May 13, 2011 9:16 PM (in response to Hawke Lund) Greetings,


    1. First make an iCal backup, File > Export > Archive. 2. Remove the following to the trash and restart your computer: Home > Library > Caches > Home > Library > Calendars > Calendar Cache, Cache, Cache 1, 2, 3, etc. (Do not remove Sync Cache or Theme Cache if present) Home > Library > Preferences > (There may be more than one of these. Remove them all.) ---NOTE: Removing these files may remove any shared (CalDAV) calendars you may have access to. You will have to re-add those calendars to iCal > Preferences > Accounts.


    Once the computer is back up and running open iCal and test.


    Hope that helps.


    Tried it and it worked.


    I'm reposting it here because this thread has lots of hits and the other doesn't (but should).


    If it works for you, please go to and 'Like' the post!

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